Tuesday, July 5

Sandra Sabatés: “It is shocking to think that ‘Unorthodox’ is based on reality and it continues to happen”

Sandra Sabatés has been presenting for almost a decade The intermediate with Greater Wyoming. It brings the informative rigor to the program and adds its own sections such as Woman you had to be in which she interviews outstanding women in different fields. She is also the author of the book Fight like a girl, which collects the stories of different Spanish pioneers. Perhaps something that this analysis of the situation of the feminine has crept into his choice when highlighting the series Unorthodox, whose four episodes can be seen on Netflix.

The miniseries is a free version of the autobiographical book by Deborah Feldman, who starred in an inspiring escape from the oppressive New York-based ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jewish sect Satmar. For Sandra Sabatés: “Surely it is one of the things that impacts the most, that shakes the most, the fact of thinking that this series is based on real events, that Esther Saphiro (the protagonist) is the alter ego of Deborah Feldman, that Deborah exists, just as there are many other Deborhas “.

“When we think of New York we think of freedom and this exists there”

Sabatés reflects on the surprising survival of these phenomena within societies with more rights: “These situations continue to occur because these communities exist, in this case ultra-Orthodox Jews, which are governed by very strict norms and rules that what they do is restrict totally the rights and freedoms of people, castrate those freedoms, specifically those of women. And that is something that influences all areas of their lives, in the same way of dressing or behaving or interacting with others, even when deciding whether or not they want to get married. They can’t choose, they know they have to get married and they say: ‘Look, this is going to be your husband, and your role in this life is going to be to have as many more children as possible’ And they don’t have any kind of choice. This is especially shocking when we consider that this particular community is located in the Brooklyn borough. When we think of New York, one of the first words that come to us to the mind is freedom. It is very striking to be able to understand how two societies, two such different realities, can coexist today, one that continues to fight to conquer new freedoms, another that does nothing more than try to restrict them as much as possible “.

The series presents the life of Esther “Esti” Schwartz before a forced marriage and her desire for freedom following in the footsteps of her also wayward mother to Berlin. Sandra Sabatés appreciates the way of presenting the two lives of the protagonist: “I like the structure that the series has with those two timelines, in the present, Esti’s flight forward is narrated with her continuous trips to the past through flashbacks that They allow us to get closer to the reality of that ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and also allow us to understand why that woman made the decision to leave there. ”

The series is written, directed and produced by women, something remarkable for Sandra Sabates: “It is one of the things that most caught my attention in this German series. The authors perfectly show us that sensitivity, those feelings that surround this woman that it is totally controlled and manipulated by the community in which it lives. ”

“The lead actress, Shira Haas, is flawless. She seems fragile and is the opposite.”

Sandra Sabates highlights the leading actress of the drama: “The interpretation of Shira Haas seems impeccable to me, she is wonderful. This woman has an incredible capacity, the power to transmit pain, frustration, anger, all feelings with a single glance , all the emotions. In addition, it happens that she is a short, thin woman, who can offer a priori an image of a certain vulnerability, fragility, in a world with a lot of power, in which there are very strict rules, very overwhelming, and yet, through acting, you end up discovering that she is the opposite, that she is a very strong, very brave woman, capable of destroying those chains to end up achieving her true goal, which is to discover herself ” . Haas has been a discovery for much of the audience, but she is a well-known actress in her native Israel. Among other works, you can see another interpretation of him as a member of an Orthodox community in the series Shtisel, with a more traditional tone and excellent reviews, also on Netflix. For your role in UnorthodoxShira Haas learned Yiddish, piano, singing and shaved her head as ultra-Orthodox women are obliged to.

The process of her character is the absolute center of the story, but the look on the man forced to marry her also stands out, as Sabatés points out: “Yanki, Esti’s husband is also a victim in some way of the system He is a young man who is completely lost, completely bewildered. On the one hand, he is very aware that he has to follow rules, rules and he does it without questioning absolutely anything because it is what is expected of him and on the other hand he has Esti , to his wife, that as soon as he meets him, the first thing he says is: ‘I am not like the rest of the girls’ and he makes a continuous effort to accept her, to understand her, to approach her and to respect that space. The problem is that he is a character who ends up having a constant internal struggle and tries to balance two worlds so opposite that in the end it is evident that the balance always has to end up going somewhere “.

“They teach women that everything outside the community is evil

The way in which the ultra-Orthodox community manages to subjugate its members in full democracy with broad individual rights is education, as the Catalan journalist points out: “Without a doubt that is the first step. Knowledge is, in some way, what we it sets these women free and that is precisely why what they do is limit their education, that learning to be able to subdue and control them from the time they are very little. That is what this series has a lot of influence on, they teach them what good is and what is evil. You have to follow the right path, obviously, but evil is all that is outside the community. Those who leave the community, as is the case of Esti or as is the case of her mother, end up being misguided. . You have to comply with such strict rules, in the case of women it is to marry and have as many children as possible and the one that does not meet that objective, as it happens at the beginning to Esti, does not stop being a defective woman. , these girls, e These women grow up with these ideas, with those values ​​that the most important thing is the family, which is sacred, just like sexual relations, and the problem is that they end up assuming and accepting as good some discrimination that they suffer for being women , not being able to go outside showing their hair or being considered impure when they have menstruation. But they are ideas with which they have grown up, it is the only thing they have seen and it is the only thing they know and that they end up accepting and accepting “.

The series has contributed to the real history of its protagonist the redemptive role of music, which was not in the book. “I would like to highlight the music,” says Sabatés, “which, beyond the soundtrack, plays a fundamental role because it continues to be a common thread. It is the great dream, the great passion of the protagonist and it also ends up becoming from some point of view. way in her salvation. She realizes that it is an impossible dream because she does not have that necessary training but finally decides to sing. Singing in public in her community is interpreted as an impudent act and she finally does it. It is a show of strength, that he has finally managed to break those chains and has achieved his goal, which is to flee from there. ” Shira Haas, the actress who plays Esti, felt the song that her character interprets as the metaphor that she had finally found her own voice, very much in line with what the presenter of The intermediate.